Freeze-drying has been known for more than a century. However, it has become popular just recently as a way to prepare meals. As people search for trendy healthy snack ideas, many are choosing to freeze-dry candy or fruits. When it comes to freeze-dried drinks, the two most common ones are coffee and tea. The majority of instant coffee and tea powders on the market are produced via this technique. They are convenient as they can be enjoyed just by mixing them with hot water. Business owners of food service or manufacturing companies are also incorporating freeze-dried products into their processes. Their very long shelf life makes them one of the food trends that is here to stay. In the following blog article, we’ll give more details on the topic of freeze-dried drinks.
Popular Freeze-Dried Drinks
Freeze-drying is more common for food rather than beverages. Nevertheless, there are some drinks that can be treated with this method in order to extend their shelf life. Let’s dive deeper into the topic.
- Coffee. Instant coffee is among the most popular freeze-dried beverages. During the dehydration process, both aroma and flavor are preserved. The resulting powdered coffee is a convenient option for people who enjoy the beverage. Wholesale coffee distributors offer a variety of instant coffee options that are either spray or freeze-dried.
- Tea. Just like coffee, tea can be dehydrated with the same technique. By mixing it with water afterward, it can be enjoyed as hot or iced tea. The majority of iced tea varieties in powdered form available on the market are produced like this.
- Juice. Purees and juices can be turned into powdered form as well. They are used by bartenders when they mix drinks and by various manufacturers of food and beverage products.
- Soups. Instant broth and soup mixes are prepared with the help of dehydration. Various vegetable soup mixes can be found on the market. Like with other freeze-dried liquids, their shelf life can be more than a decade.
- Milk. Various wholesale dairy suppliers offer freeze-dried milk and other dairy products. In order to prolong their shelf life, they can easily be dehydrated with a freeze-drying machine. That’s how powdered milk is produced. It’s used in cooking or as coffee creamer. Sadly, not all plant-based milks can be freeze-dried. The reason for this is that some of them have a higher fat content. That makes them unsuitable for this dehydration method.
- Sports drinks. Energy drinks and beverages rich in nutrition used by athletes may come in powdered form. They are then mixed with water to achieve a flavorful and energizing beverage. Freeze-dried products are very popular with hikers. That’s why specialized eCommerce stores focused on hiking products and equipment offer a variety of freeze-dried drinks and food.
Key takeaway: Powdered milk and instant coffee are the most popular freeze dried beverages as they are convenient and easy to use. Freeze-dried drinks can be used as flavor enhancers or in cocktail mixing.
How Businesses Use Freeze-Dried Drinks
The beverage industry uses freeze-drying in various ways. It’s very convenient to store beverages in that form as they become much lighter and easier to transport. Rehydrating them after also doesn’t require expensive equipment and skills. Let’s examine some of the ways businesses use dehydrated drinks.
- Smoothies. Juice and smoothie bars might use freeze dried fruit or drinks as a way to save storage space and reduce waste. Furthermore, manufacturers might also produce powdered mixes that can be rehydrated at home to achieve a tasty smoothie.
- Instant tea and coffee. These two beverages are the most popular ones that come in powdered dehydrated form. They are used by food service establishments and vending machine operators.
- Mocktail drinks. Non-alcoholic cocktails can also come in powdered form. They can easily be rehydrated when needed.
- Dietary supplements. Vitamins and minerals are often sold as a powder that can be mixed with water. That saves storage space and is convenient for consumers. The same is true for energy drinks and sports drinks.
- Flavor enhancers. Powdered flavor enhancers are often just a mix of ingredients that have been freeze-dried.
- Alcohol distillation. A lot of distilleries use dehydrated fruits in their powdered form to add flavor to the final product. That includes producers of vodka, gin, and hard seltzers.
- Snacks and complimentary desserts. Restaurants might offer complimentary freeze-dried candy or other interesting desserts or snacks. They can be used as part of a restaurant’s marketing and encourage customers to share their experience on social media.
- Ride the trend wave. Businesses need to constantly adapt. That’s why they might incorporate trendy items such as freeze-dried products in their menu. Furthermore, the reduced waste also directly affects the cost of goods sold.
Frequently Asked Questions about Freeze-Dried Drinks
The convenience of freeze-drying is why this preservation method has become more popular in recent years, especially for candy and food products. Whether you need to find suppliers of wholesale freeze dried products or want to know how to dehydrate beverages, the answers below will help you.
Can You Freeze-Dry Alcohol?
Practically speaking, it’s not possible to freeze-dry alcohol. Theoretically, alcoholic beverages can be freeze-dried but it’s very hard to do so. The reason behind this is that the melting temperature of ethanol is −173 °F. This means that you need to cool it down to that temperature in order to freeze dry alcohol. That’s why standard freeze-drying machines can’t turn ethanol liquid into powder.
There is a product called powdered alcohol on the market. It’s produced via a process called microencapsulation. However, it’s banned in most US states due to the high health concerns for its potential effects.
How to Store Freeze-Dried Beverages?
Like with freeze-dried food, drinks should be stored away from direct sunlight and in a dry place. Higher temperatures are also not recommended as they can damage the packaging of the products. Keeping the powder of dried drinks in an airtight container is very important.
The shelf life of freeze-dried drinks is very long. They can be rehydrated and consumed more than a decade after they have been dehydrated and turned into powder. However, that’s only true as long as they are stored properly.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Freeze-Dried Drinks?
Prolonged shelf life is the main reason why many households and businesses stock their pantries with these products. Another reason for their popularity is the fact that they are very easy to consume. They are just mixed with water and ready to drink. Juices and milk can also be used in cooking and by mixologists.
There are also drawbacks to freeze-drying beverages. When comparing freeze dried vs dehydrated methods, the latter requires a much lower investment. You can dehydrate products in an oven or an air fryer. But you need a specialized machine for freeze-drying. Even the cheaper options on the market cost thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s not easy to make your own freeze-dried drinks. In addition, even though this dehydration technique keeps most of the nutritional value of the products, it affects the taste. Tea or coffee enthusiasts will rarely prefer to mix powder with water compared to making a fresh and tasty beverage. That’s why instant coffee is not a very popular coffee trend.